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San Francisco Bay Area Museums & Historic Sites

World-Renown Museums & Historic Sites in Oakland & the San Francisco Bay Area . . .

San Francisco Bay Area museums are an eclectic mix. Some of the finest museums and galleries in the world can be found in this area, providing an amazing diversity of artistic expression, historical reference and scientific exploration. Here, you will find exhibits about everything from cable cars to submarines, and historic sites such as large brick forts under the Golden Gate Bridge and great wooden ships of another area anchored in the Fisherman's Wharf area!

As anyone knows who ever planned a trip to the San Francisco Bay area, there are myriad of things to do, but do try to make time for at least one or two of the area's wonderful museums or historic sites. San Francisco's museums, particularly its small museums, are scattered about its colorful neighborhoods. Don't overlook museums in the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland and Point Richmond) and South Bay (the Peninsula, Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz). There is "historic" gold everywhere that you look in the Bay Area.

From the oldest building in San Francisco (Mission Delores - 14.2 mi), to the newest of museum renovations (Oakland Museum of California - 1.4 mi), you'll find it within a short drive of the Executive Inn & Suites Oakland.

San Francisco Bay Area Museums & Historic Sites listed by distance from hotel:

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland Waterfront Hotel
Oakland Museum of California

When the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) first opened its doors in 1969, it brought together three historically independent disciplines art, history, and natural sciences-under one roof. This progressive multidisciplinary approach was to celebrate the many facets of California. Their collections comprising more than 1.8 million objects including seminal art works, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens, and photographs—and our programs explore and reveal the factors that shape California character and identity, from its extraordinary natural landscapes, to successive waves of migration, to its unique culture of creativity and innovation.

OMCA has reopened its galleries in 2010 after a transformation that touches almost every aspect of the 300,000 square-foot Museum and builds on the founders' original multidisciplinary and civic-minded intent by improving integration of OMCA's collections and programs, strengthening its role as a public forum, and creating new opportunities for visitor participation. The collections are animated by innovative interpretive tools and interactive features; and new gathering spaces and program areas engage visitors and encourage them to share their own perspectives, questions, and stories.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel

The Alameda Historical Society was founded in 1948, and the Museum was established in 1951. In 1983 the Alameda Museum was designated as the official repository of historical documents and artifacts for the City of Alameda.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel

MOCHA provides hands-on arts learning experiences for children and their families in our museum, in schools and preschools, and in public venues. MOCHA also prepares educators to teach art and integrate arts learning across academic subject areas. As well, we advocate for the arts as an essential part of a strong, vital and diverse community.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel

Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors the very latest in hands-on, interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium and large-screen shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel

USS Pampanito (SS-383) is a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine museum and memorial that is open for visitors daily at Oakland's Fisherman's Wharf. Pampanito made six patrols in the Pacific during World War II during which she sank six Japanese ships and damaged four others.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Located at the west end of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes a fleet of historic vessels tied up at Hyde Street Pier, a visitor center, and a library/research facility. Visitors can step aboard turn-of-the-century ships, visit the maritime museum's exhibits and ship models, and learn traditional seafaring arts like boatbuilding and woodworking. Visitors to this National Park can also participate in a variety of educational, music and craft programs designed for all ages.

Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building (Maritime Museum): The Bathhouse building was built in 1939 as a joint project of the City of San Francisco and the New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA), and is the focal point of the Aquatic Park Historic Landmark District. This unique structure was designed in the Streamline Moderne style, a late offshoot of the Art Deco period, and mimics the clean lines of an ocean liner. The building is a showcase for art created during the 1930s by Sargent Johnson and Hilaire Hiler. Dazzling murals cover the interior walls. Stop by to enjoy the vibrant colors depicting a dreamy and strange underwater world.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
San Francisco Bay Fort Point

Fort Point has stood guard at the narrows of the Golden Gate for nearly 150 years. It has been called "the pride of the Pacific," "the Gibraltar of the West Coast," and "one of the most perfect models of masonry in America." When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California. Although its guns never fired a shot in anger, the "Fort at Fort Point" as it was originally named has witnessed Civil War, obsolescence, earthquake, bridge construction, reuse for World War II, and preservation as a National Historic Site.

Fort Point was built between 1853 and 1861 by the U.S. Army Engineers as part of a defense system of forts planned for the protection of San Francisco Bay. Designed at the height of the Gold Rush, the fort and its companion fortifications would protect the Bay's important commercial and military installations against foreign attack. The fort was built in the Army's traditional "Third System" style of military architecture (a standard adopted in the 1820s), and would be the only fortification of this impressive design constructed west of the Mississippi River. This fact bears testimony to the importance the military gave San Francisco and the gold fields during the 1850s.

Although Fort Point never saw battle, the building has tremendous significance due to its military history, its architecture, and its association with maritime history.

In the late 1930s, plans for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge also involved plans for the demolition of Fort Point. Fortunately, Chief Engineer Joseph Strauss recognized the architectural value of the Fort and created a special engineer arch which allowed the construction of the bridge to occur safely over the Fort. In 1959, a group of retired military officers and civilian engineers created the Fort Point Museum Association and lobbied for its creation as a National Historic Site. On October 16, 1970, Fort Point became a National Historic Site.

Fort Point is cold and windy most of the time. You can probably count on the temperature being at least 10 degrees cooler that the current listing below. Spring and Fall generally offer the best weather. Dress warmly for your visit, with layers of clothing.

Executive Inn & Suites Oakland - Oakland CA Waterfront Hotel
Oakland Cultural, arts & Historical Venues
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